In 2018, 5,172 motorcyclists were killed in the United States. They were 14% of the total motor vehicle crash deaths in the U.S. And keep in mind, 71% of bikers wore proper helmets in 2018. So, what more do you need to do to survive a motorcycle crash?
Should you slam the brakes on hard? Or try a baseball slide? Is rolling going to help?
For many years, riding a motorcycle has been glorified on television and in the movies. The rumble of a motorcycle motor makes you think of long, open roads and endless highways to explore.
But unfortunately, these roads can be deadly for motorcyclists. According to autoinsurance.org, in the United States, in 2016, the number of people who died from riding motorcycles was 28 times higher than those who died in cars.
And over 80% of motorcycle crashes cause injury or death. Those aren’t good odds. So, how can you prevent yourself from becoming part of the deadly statistics?
Step 1: Wear a Helmet
Of those motorcyclists killed in accidents, 40% of them didn’t wear helmets to protect themselves. Your head is a very sensitive part of your body, and damaging it can kill you, or leave you paralyzed.
So, it’s essential to wear a helmet, no matter how much you prefer to feel the wind in your hair as you drive.
Step 2: Learn from Other People’s Mistakes
Before you head out on your mean machine, it may be a good idea to watch some videos of motorcyclists driving, and even crashing. Seeing other people make small or common mistakes can help you learn, or notice something, without making the mistakes yourself. And that knowledge could help save your life.
Step 3: Crash Safely if Possible
As you begin to crash, try to slow down as much as you can by slowly hitting the front brakes. Look around you, and find a safer place to crash into. Instead of slamming into another vehicle, look for a softer or clearer area, and aim your bike towards it. This can help you survive, and lessen your injuries.
Step 4: Roll and Slide
Once you’re down, let go of the motorcycle. Many motorcycles weigh hundreds of pounds, and you wouldn’t want that weight tumbling on top and crushing you. You don’t want a heavy motorbike to pin you to the ground either. Instead, try to roll away.
In 2019, a New Hampshire crash killed seven bikers, when the group crashed into a Dodge pickup truck. But as her bike fell onto the ground, Dawn Brindley rolled away from the motorcycle, and survived.
And once you’ve rolled off the bike, allow yourself to slide, legs first, like you’re stealing a base in baseball. This can help slow you down faster.
Step 5: Crawl and Call
To avoid becoming roadkill, crawl away from traffic. A motorcycle crash can leave you with plenty of injuries. You don’t want to get hit by a car, too. Don’t try to get up and walk, as it may cause more injuries. So crawl away. And once you make it to the side of the road, call for help.
- “5 Ways to Avoid Death on a Motorcycle”. youtube.com
- “From Horror To Hope, Surviving A Traumatic Motorcycle Accident”. Hayes, Kim. 2016. Enjuris Blog | Find Answers And Share Your Accident’s Story.
- “Surprising Motorcycle Crashes People Survived Unscathed”. Barney, Scott. 2019. Barney Injury Law.
- “How To Crash A Motorcycle Safely”. 2019. Motorcycle Legal Foundation.
- “Motorcycle Accidents & Injuries Statistics (Updated 2021) – Motoshark.Com”. 2019. motoshark.com.
- “Motorcyclist deaths in B.C. spike 50% in a year”. Clare, Hennig. 2021. CBC.
- “Biker Survived the Motorcycle Crash That Killed 7. ‘It Was Just All Fire,’ She Says”. who13.com.